Report

Firm-to-Firm Relationships and the Pass-Through of Shocks: Theory and Evidence


Abstract: Economists have long suspected that firm-to-firm relationships might lower the responsiveness of prices to shocks due to the use of fixed-price contracts. Using transaction-level U.S. import data, I show that the pass-through of exchange rate shocks in fact rises as a relationship grows older. Based on novel stylized facts about a relationship?s life cycle, I develop a model of relationship dynamics in which a buyer-seller pair accumulates relationship capital to lower production costs under limited commitment. The structurally estimated model generates countercyclical markups and countercyclical pass-through of shocks through variation in the economy?s rate of relationship creation, which falls in recessions.

Keywords: prices; trade relationships; supply chain; exchange rate;

JEL Classification: F14; E32; L14; E30;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Staff Reports

Publication Date: 2019-08-01

Number: 896

Pages: 90 pages